Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation

Working to create a fire-safe and burn-free Wisconsin

Fire Safety and Prevention Program

Preventing fires and burns through education and risk mitigation

We’ve proven that fire safety and prevention programs work: over the past 30 years, the number of fire related deaths in Wisconsin has been cut in half and deaths among children have been reduced by more than 80%. Still, significant risks remain. Smoke alarms save lives, yet too many people live without working alarms. Escape plans help people prepare, yet busy families often fail to check this item off the to do list. The synthetic materials that now make up our homes and furniture mean a house can be engulfed in as little as three minutes, but people too often think “it won’t happen to us.”

The Fire Fighters Foundation’s focus on education and risk mitigation helps educate children, families and communities that, while the risk is real, there are simple steps we can all take to help build strong, safe communities all across Wisconsin.

Fire Safety Newspapers in Education

For 26 years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been a partner on this award-winning program that saves lives through fire safety education. The fun and engaging content within this newspaper educates readers on burn prevention, the importance of smoke alarms and fire sprinklers, home fire escape planning, gas and electrical safety, and everyday risk reduction in their homes. Each year, approximately 500,000 copies are distributed to schools, fire departments, community organizations, and newspaper subscribers around the state.

Interactive map of 2023 Fire Safety Newspapers in Education distribution around the state.

PFFWCF Fire Safety Recognition Luncheon

Each year, we host a Fire Safety Recognition Luncheon to recognize the individuals, companies, and fire departments who continue to help us serve as champions for burn survivors, fire fighters, and safe communities all across Wisconsin. We also recognize Burn Camp staff for their milestone years of service at camp.

The 34th annual Fire Safety Recognition Luncheon took place on Monday, October 14th, 2024 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Overture Center in Madison, WI. Thank you to everyone who attended and support creating a fire safe Wisconsin.

Nominations are now open! Please take a moment to nominate deserving fire departments, organizations, or individuals for their outstanding fire safety efforts HERE.

Congratulations to the 2023 Award Recipients!

2023 Burn Camp Staff Milestone Awards

  • 10-year staff milestone awards – Emily Longwell-Grice
  • 15-year staff milestone awards – Heather Moore
  • 20-year staff milestone awards – Tanya Bolchen, Melissa Kersten, Jason Garlie


Dan Gengler Fire Sprinkler Advocacy Award – Recognizes people and organizations for their work to advocate and overcome the barriers to fire sprinkler systems in the future generations of homes. This award is named after Dan Gengler, one of the founders of the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety, a retired Deputy Chief with the Milwaukee Fire Department, and former North Central Regional Manager with the National Fire Sprinkler Association. Dan built just about everything we do today. He has not only made fire safety and fire sprinkler advocacy his life’s work, but his passion.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023Faust Family
    • 2022 – Guy Santelli, Kenosha Fire Department
    • 2021 – City of Brookfield Fire Department
    • 2020 – Kenny Asselin, West Bend Fire Department
    • 2019– City of Madison Fire Department

Legislator of the Year Award – Recognizes an elected official who has gone above and beyond to help us promote fire safety in Wisconsin.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023 – N/A
    • 2022 – N/A
    • 2021- N/A
    • 2020 – N/A
    • 2019 – N/A

Joe Vorce Career Safety Award – Recognizes an outstanding individual who represents Joe’s courageous attitude and dedication to promoting fire-safety across Wisconsin. The Joe Vorce Career Safety Award is named for a person whose commitment to fire safety is accentuated by their dedication and loyalty to the mission of the Fire Fighters Foundation.  Joe was a charter member of the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety who helped shape many of the Alliance’s programs and their direction.  Joe, a committed volunteer, was sadly taken from us in 2004 after a courageous battle with cancer.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023 – Guy Santelli, Kenosha Fire Department
    • 2022 – Ed Ruckriegel
    • 2021 – Mike Bongiorno
    • 2020 – Vernon Green
    • 2019 – Milwaukee Fire Department – Retired Chief Michael Romas

PFFWCF Media Award – Recognizes a member of the media who has shown strong commitment and dedication to promoting fire safety and/or highlighting the work of the Fire Fighters Foundation.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023 – Milwaukee Radio Group
    • 2022 – Raquel Rutledge
    • 2021 – Fitchburg Access Community Television

PFFWCF Corporate Responsibility Award – Recognizes a company or organization that has gone above and beyond to help the Fire Fighters Foundation work towards our mission of championing support for burn survivors, fire fighters, and safe communities statewide.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023 – Kunes Family Foundation
    • 2022 – J.F. Ahern Co.
    • 2021 – TruWatch
    • 2020 – Adams Outdoor Advertising
    • 2019 – Old Style Beer

Bosanko Brothers Support Award – Recognizes those who support us year after year. They are the backbone of this organization and provide significant support that makes a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Formerly referred to as the PFFWCF Support Award, this award was newly renamed after the Bosanko Brothers this year. The Bosanko Brothers are the embodiment of support and have spent decades supporting the mission of the Fire Fighters Foundation and formerly the Wisconsin Alliance of Fire Safety.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023 – Tom Grosser
    • 2022 – Kelly Vecitis
    • 2021 – Scott Van Roo, Mike Hafeman
    • 2020 – Wisconsin Fire & Iron Motorcycle Clubs
    • 2019 – Laurie Laz & Jim Hirsch of Paul Davis Restoration of South Central Wisconsin

Larry Ceretto Fire Safety Education Award – Recognizes a fire department whose commitment to fire safety has attained the high level of quality and integrity that had been characteristic of one of Wisconsin’s most admired in the fire service: Larry Ceretto, retired Deputy Chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department, retired Milwaukee Area Technical College dean of the Fire Science Program, and person of classic distinction.  His dedication to duty and loyalty to the missions of his commitments accentuate the core purpose of the Fire Fighters Foundation.

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023 – West Bend Fire Department
    • 2022 – Town of Barnes Fire Department
    • 2021 – City of West Allis Fire Department
    • 2020 – Allenton Fire Department
    • 2019 – Green Bay Metro Fire Department

PFFWCF Special Recognition Award 

  • Previous Award Winners:
    • 2023Barb Riordan 
    • 2022 – N/A
    • 2021 Tom Kocher

Special Thanks to the Presenting Sponsor:

Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition

Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition

We are proud partners of the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

The Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition works to identify and overcome the barriers to the acceptance of fire sprinklers in the future generation of homes. 

Fire Sprinkler Sweepstakes Flyer 2023 Offical Rules


Wisconsin Smoke Alarm Fire Education (WisSAFE) Coalition

The WisSAFE Coalition works to prevent the devastating effects of fire through smoke alarm installation and education. As a proud partner, in the last four years we have delivered more than 16,000 smoke alarms to more than 200 fire departments to install. In addition, Fire Departments can still receive free smoke alarms to install in the homes of at-risk populations in their communities through the Red Cross. Please contact us for more information.